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Sue Steel has been named 2013 Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior for the 138th Preakness Stakes. Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior serves as the official Preakness ambassador at all events leading up to and including the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization, have developed a partnership to raise funds to aid awareness and research that will take place on Black-Eyed Susan Day, Friday, May 17. Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised will go to the Komen Maryland Affiliate to use for community outreach programs in Maryland and 25% will be used for life-saving breast cancer research.
The original Miss Preakness contest was refashioned in 2010 to honor breast cancer survivors and individuals who have made a difference in the lives of those fighting breast cancer. The name Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior is in recognition of Candy Coburn's popular song, "Pink Warrior".
Steel, who lives in Eldersburg, Md., is a 16-year breast cancer survivor. The 49-year-old was first diagnosed in 1997, only days before her mother succumbed to the disease. Six days after her mother's funeral, Steel was admitted to the hospital for a double mastectomy and has endured 15 additional surgeries. During her initial recovery she decided to do something meaningful so that her daughter would not have to face this disease.
"My goal is to show other young women that they can survive this disease and go on to lead a healthy, active life," Steel said. "Early detection is key."
Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior will represent the Maryland Jockey Club at official Preakness events throughout the week, including the post position draw on Wednesday, May 15, the Alibi Breakfast the following morning and at a prominent place on the storied cupola for the presentation of the Woodlawn Vase following next Saturday's Preakness.
In recognition of Komen's signature shade, Pimlico will be awash in pink on Black-Eyed Susan Day. The color pink will brand the day, with horses and pony riders on the track who will be sporting pink saddle towels, featuring the unity logo representing both partners. Valets and starters will be decked in pink gear and festive linens, flowers and banners will blanket Pimlico. For the first time, the Pimlico starting gate will also be pink for the day.